The moment of truth is at hand. Stephen is about to kill four of our chickens. I have spent the last week or so thinking it all through, and intellectually have come to resolution on it. Obviously emotionally I still have a steep mountain ahead of me, as I am sitting here crying.
My children on the other hand were both eager to go out and participate. Do I feel like a schmuck or what? When the Princess said she wanted to go, I wanted to make sure she understood what was happening.
"Do you know what Papa is going to do?", I asked.
"Yes, kill them, maybe with a hammer?", the Princess answered.
"Well, a knife," I said.
"And then we will eat them," Papa said.
"But not the feathers," she said.
She gets it.
Last night the boy and I had to pick out some for today. It was not hard picking the biggest and healthiest looking ones, but it was hard putting them in their separate housing for the night. I talked to one as I went, thanking it for helping sustain our lives, and wishing I had provided a better life for it here. When I told Stephen, he pointed out that our chickens *have* had a better life than most chickens, and that is true. But I want to make it better still.
My kids are definitely more cut out, naturally, for farm life than I am. I think I would be good at running some kind of small animal sanctuary. Taking care of Trill (yes, after everyone agreed our rescued bird is now my pet, I felt free to name her), I am reminded that I am good at these nurturing kinds of things. But the chaos of a farm and lots of big animals and predators and slaughtering... ugh. Once again, God is getting a chance to be glorified because the only way I am going to manage this is in His strength, not mine.
Farmer Boy told me last night:
"I think I will have to quit school soon."
"Why?" I aked.
"Because there is so much work to do on the farm."
Of course I negated that idea (quitting) post haste. But really, I don't know what I would do without him. He is a genuine help. He can control the horses better than I can, he is not afraid to catch a big rooster, he is strong and brave about slaughtering the chickens. He is seven.
I am a wuss.
I will post what I've written about the intellectual part later today... and let you know how we fared with the actual slaughter.
Out I go.